Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lēof dear, Latin lubēre, libēre to please
Date: before 12th century
(1) strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) attraction based on sexual desire ; affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates> b. an assurance of love <give her my love> 2. warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea> 3. a. the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love> b. (1) a beloved person ; darling — often used as a term of endearment (2) British — used as an informal term of address 4. a. unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) brotherly concern for others b. a person's adoration of God 5. a god or personification of love 6. an amorous episode ; love affair 7. the sexual embrace ; copulation 8. a score of zero (as in tennis) 9. capitalized, Christian Science god II. verb (loved; loving) Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to hold dear ; cherish 2. a. to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for b. (1) caress (2) to fondle amorously (3) to copulate with 3. to like or desire actively ; take pleasure in <loved to play the violin> 4. to thrive in <the rose loves sunlight> intransitive verb to feel affection or experience desire
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.